The actual trek started on this day. We had intended to start early and by the time we hit the trail, it was . The destination was Bhojbasa which literally means “abode of Bhoj (birch) trees”, about 14 kilometers. The trail starts from near the temple and is quite well marked as it is used by lot of pilgrims who visit Gaumukh. It moves all the way up till Gaumukh on the true right of the Bhagirathi valley. We stopped at the check post after about 2 kilometers, where we had to pay some the forest fees. We got to see the Himalayan Goat - Bharal feeding on a ridge
We took our first break and had our breakfast at one of the dhabas on the trail. There are a few streams to be crossed on the trail and we were lucky since all the log bridges were quite intact in spite of the heavy rains.
We took our next break at Chirbasa (3500 meters, 11600 feet) literally “abode of chir or pine trees” and had some tea. As we proceeded towards Bhojbasa, the majestic triumvirate of the Bhagirathi peaks (6856 meters, 22624 feet) appeared on the horizon.
We were now in true Himalayan country surrounded by majestic peaks on all sides. From Chirbasa to Bhojbasa there was overhanging moraine and sometimes there was a danger of loose rocks falling on the trail. Finally we reached Bhojbasa (3775 meters, 12500 feet) around covering the distance of 14km in about 6 hours.
The camps were pitched in the valley by the river. There was the Lal Baba Ashram and GMVN TRH on one side, while near the river, there was a meteorological center which apparently studies the Gangotri Glacier. JP knew a local who used to work at this center and with whom he had trekked earlier. He was quite keen on meeting this guy again but apparently the guy was off duty for some days. While having tea, we discussed a few other hard treks with our porters. Some of them had been on the “Auden’s
During the evening we went for a stroll around the camp and suddenly on one of the mountains, Sandeep saw a formation in snow which closely resembled the holy “
We had been told that the camp site would be quite windy as we were not closely surrounded by any mountains. This turned out to be true and the evening was quite cold, more so because of the heavy wind.
The first day trek was easy and all us knew the toughest days are yet to come. With these thoughts we decided to hit the sack.